Now the Lord had said to Moses in Midian, “Go back to Egypt, for all those who wanted to kill you are dead.” – Exodus 4:19
There are days when I don’t want to write, i’d rather color or do something less emotional and thought provoking but since I gave myself a goal of writing 1 post per week….here I am. God is amazing with the way he arranges things and brings about his plan in our lives. I won’t share every single detail because that will just take up too much time but this week I felt like this note and picture I handcrafted without expecting it to begin or even end up this way….
I started reading Exodus on a day to day base last year summer when I was feeling overwhelmed by the racial division, bias and injustice in the world – I won’t even say the US because this is a worldwide problem whether we choose to admit it or not. I remember feeling less than, as if my skin color says I am unimportant and I can be treated like dirt by others because im black and black means you’re inferior to whites (LIES but lies that are told and believed, once again whether we choose to admit it or not). God knew I needed hope and so he brought Exodus to my mind time and time again, an escape story created by God to free slaves that were being oppressed – a feeling I know very well but in a different way. God showed me through this story that he sees us, that we’re created in HIS own image whether we’re black, Asian, Indian white etc. He showed me that if his people are being killed, abused and mistreated no matter their skin color or gender he will rise up and save them because we matter to him. He wanted to give me hope and I found hope through those pages, so much that i’d keep going back to the beginning and re-read the Exodus story. I wouldn’t always read the entire book, just the story of Moses’ birth until they came out of Egypt because that’s what I wanted, to leave Egypt and enter the Promised Land. So much to my surprise that when I got to that section this week for the millionth time, they left Egypt and I wasn’t the least bit excited to leave with them. I didn’t want to stay because I enjoy being oppressed and wish to stay in bondage but in my heart/gut, I felt I had unfinished business, I wasn’t complete and I need to stay a bit longer, the “fixing” in me needed more work before I could leave only to return for another task. Through doing this masterpiece that clearly belongs in a museum I realized that by leaving Egypt, similar to all the times before, it doesn’t mean I am “fixed” or “complete” and it doesn’t mean I am a mess unable to move. Each time I go “back to Egypt” now that I think about it, its never due to the depth or length of my healing after I’ve crossed the Red Sea but because God has more he wants to show me and heal within me that’s still back there in Egypt. My past is my Egypt, it’s my childhood and my growing up years where I felt a lot of rejection, guilt, shame, fear, loss of identity and no sense of worth/value. Egypt is where the ones who should’ve loved me didn’t know how to give or receive love themselves so, in different ways, they told me I wasn’t worth their love and affection and I believed them. I believed I was less than because of my skin color and my gender; women should be seen and not heard and being black means you’re cursed by God, as a family member once told me when I was much older – and he too is black! I go back to Egypt so God can remove all those lies and paint a new picture for me because the one handed to me as a child was torn and ruined. The painting didn’t represent him or myself, it didn’t speak his words or sing of his joy in having me as his daughter. What’s back there in Egypt didn’t kill me then and it can’t kill me now so I can go back as many times as God sees fit so all parts of me, not just bits and pieces can get to the Promised Land eventually. I’ll keep going back until all parts of me can cross the Red Sea, go through the wilderness, enter the Promised Land and kiss Egypt goodbye FOR GOOD!!!
My sister joked around about my art because there’s rain, dark clouds, lightning and a sun shining bright in the corner. I believe my drawing worked out that way because God’s letting me know that even with all the chaos and pain – his glory is still shining upon me and he’s bringing up life and blooming flowers through it all.